The Elmgrove Centre started in 1989 with SPACE (space and BDAC and from 1992 was run by Christian Enterprises Trust (CET) which was founded to provide opportunities for people to meet with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to establish Christian Community Centres, to love and serve in the community and to foster initiatives which promote unity among Christian churches and organisations. Our Logo is a heart with an Ichthus fish with Abide in Me in scribed in it, representing Father, Son and Holy Spirit and also us (the heart has a larger left side), as the message from Jesus is for us to Abide in him and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Over the years the Elmgrove Centre has seen many changes. From a traditional lofty and beautiful Anglican Church with pews, organ, font, choir stalls, no toilets or kitchen and heating which only operated in the front of the church, it became a large lofty open pine floored interior with a kitchen set up where the organ was (the pipes and keyboards went to a Welsh organ being built), a large prayer room, a main office and four smaller rooms with a balcony over them.
From a building used one day a week for church services, it has grown from still having church services but also to having a variety of activities during the week – as diverse as being the venue for a rehearsal space for BBC's 'Strictly Come Dancing' and for Cameron Balloons to inflate and test a hot air balloon!
We have also been the host venue for short tennis and circus skills, for making a hang glider and putting on an Elizabethan banquet, for brass band rehearsals and a night shelter, for drama school and debt counselling, for Burns night and 70th birthday party, for training days and for dance classes, for children's soft play and an all day cafe, recording studio and creche for young children of B and B families.. and we are looking forward to much more! Our space and time are not yet fully occupied!
In the last 10 months, we have undertaken major building works on the site, on the upper roof, moving the kitchen in the church building, renovating the toilet area in the church building and are on a programme of gradually redecorating or renovating the whole of the premises, inside and out.
We have a fantastic team working within the centre, managing the building, organising viewings and bookings, and developing new projects.
We were so excited to launch our Sunshine Café in February this year – it has been a huge success and enjoyed by so many children and adults!
We opened on May 17th for “Sunshine Lunches”. Whilst this is open to anyone who would like to come along, it was launched with combatting loneliness in mind. More and more has been published recently on the effects of loneliness to our health. It has been proven to be almost as detrimental to our health as smoking or obesity! It’s amazing that in an age of instant messaging and technology, people should feel isolated. But you don’t have to be alone to be lonely. Sunshine lunches will hopefully bring a ray of sunshine that will touch everyone’s lives.
There is a new games station being planned for our balcony. This is still in the development stage, but will be an area to be enjoyed by children and will include table football, wii, playstation and other games. We are also looking into the idea of this being available exclusively on certain days to children who are carers.
We are currently planning a tea party for the elderly (through Contact The Elderly) for October this year, and following dementia action week, we are also planning a Memory Café. Please see the events page for updates and information on this.
We plan to end our year in style, with a Christmas Dinner for ANYONE who finds themselves on their own at Christmas time. We will be offering a delicious 3 course lunch, a film, games and activities, a Christmas sing-a-long, and to round off the day, mince pies, mulled wine, and a present for everyone.
August 2019 we will be celebrating our 30 year anniversary so the future is shaping up to be really exciting. We would love for you to be a part of it too – we are always looking for volunteers and help, so if you can offer any time at all please contact the office.